Saturday, April 10, 2010

Nasreddin Hodja and the Tired Donkey

I have a secret used-book store in Izmir. It really isn't all that secret but it is a bit of a hole in the wall. I go there from time to time and browse through the used books. There are jillions (or more) English books, from classics to the Lavender of Love Barbara Cartland stuff.

Anyway, last weekend, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, I found a collection of Turkish folklore tales. I found another Nasreddin Hodja story, which I hope you will enjoy.

Nasreddin Hodja and the Tired Donkey

 One day Nasreddin Hodja and a group of his neighbors were going somewhere Hodjatogether. They all rode upon their donkeys. When they came to a hill, Hodja noticed that his donkey was sweating. He got down off the donkey's back and whispered into its ear, "I am sorry that you're working so hard that you are sweating."

His neighbors noticed this and were quite curious about it. "Hodja, what did you whisper to the donkey?"

"I told my donkey I was sorry he had to work so hard."

All of his neighbors laughed and one of them finally said, "Why, Hodja, donkeys don't understand human speech. They aren't human, you know."

"I did what is expected of a human being. I do not care whether the donkey understood me or not. What I have to do is what concerns me." Nasreddin Hodja answered.

1 comment:

  1. Although I can't translate that punchline into Turkish, I can approximate what it might sound like, intonation and all-- maybe that's what makes Nasreddin so good.

    Today there were some kids in the park. Some were walking back from the big pile of rocks they all find so enticing. Another sitting in a swing asked a passing boy, "Is Hazar over there?" and the boy said, "Ne bilim yaaa..." Oddly enough the boy in the swing didn't take it as rude. Text Context Subtext. There's so much I get/don't quite get/will never get.


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